On Sunday, Shanghai Disneyland went into partial lockdown after a woman who visited the park tested positive for COVID-19. Hours before the night of Halloween, the park temporarily suspended entry of any new guests and requested tens of thousands within the facility to undergo testing before exiting.
The government and Disneyland staff sealed off the entire venue. A few rides were open, but it was utterly bizarre that hundreds of people in full medical hazmat suits were dispatched to the park after one person tested positive for the virus. Everyone inside, approximately 33,000, had to take a nucleic acid COVID-19 test before exiting.
In case anyone needs a reminder for how surreal Covid Year Two still is...check Shanghai Disneyland. pic.twitter.com/C11Jk0lez0— Fu Beimeng📹 (@BeimengFu) October 31, 2021
Disneyland issued this statement on their Weibo account:
At the same time, all tourists who are already in the park need to undergo nucleic acid testing at the exit when leaving the park, and follow the CDC's requirements for a nucleic acid test after 24 hours. After the two nucleic acid tests are negative, do the next 12 days independently Health monitoring.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused. We will also release information about ticket refunds and exchanges for all tourists affected by this. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Other reports show that local authorities shut down a subway line connecting the park to surrounding metro areas and had 220 buses take parkgoers home for self-isolation. The park is closed on Monday and will be on Tuesday. There was no word on when it would reopen.
Fucking surreal in this post-Covid era— Andrew Fisher (@acpandy) October 31, 2021
Only in **happiest place on earth - Shanghai China Disney pic.twitter.com/s6oX72OgRP
Mainland China has reported new virus cases in the last few weeks, mainly in Inner Mongolia or other regions in the north. The response by the country outlines their zero-tolerance policy against the virus, which has allegedly proven successful.
Disney owns about 43% of Shanghai Disneyland and will offer refunds for tickets sold between Oct. 31- Nov. 2. The US entertainment company is expected to report fiscal fourth-quarter on Nov. 10.
In recent weeks, leaked Chinese Communist Party documents revealed that China's leadership had commanded local officials to be on alert for another large-scale COVID outbreak. Last month, Wuhan, China, officials in Hubei Province placed a massive order for PCR tests.
After 33,000 tests, none of the parkgoers tested positive. The harsh measure begs the question of whether the shutdown was more political than health-related.